The first one was to review adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators. Most of my kids got it quickly, but some of them were still working through finding common denominators. Pattern Blocks are super popular for teaching fractions, so we used an idea from Mathematics For Elementary Teachers and tweaked it a bit to practice addition and subtraction.
There are three steps to the project. The first one is pretty cut and dry for the students to see the equivalent fractions with the pattern blocks.
Then it moves on to something a little more tricky, where TWO hexagons equals a whole, and the students have to use the models a little differently. You can see in the picture below all the work this student did figuring out how to model it. By number 3 and 4, this student had a very SOLID grasp of how it worked, so I allowed her to show me the model, then signed off on it without her having to draw it on the paper. For the kids still needing reinforcement, they continued to draw it on the paper.
I included this step by step model of how the student used the model to figure out 5/6-3/4 (Keeping in mind that TWO hexagons equaled 1 in this set of problems, and that there is an extra red trapezoid off to the side in the first picture). It is so visual and easy to figure out. The student saw right away that the three blues and two reds were the same, so she cancelled them out. Then, she took the extra red (not pictured in the top picture...OOPS!) and put it on top of the remaining blues. She found that she was left with just a tip of blue, which was to be her answer. So, she found the equivalent pattern block (a green triangle) to that tip of blue and figured out the answer. Kids think this is so awesomely cool.
There were three sheets total, and you can download them for FREE here. If you have questions about how to use them, I'm happy to answer them. But trust me--if your kids need an introduction to adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators or could use a review, this is a FUN way to do it!
The second project we did was my Fraction Human Activity (which you can purchase on TpT, HERE). This is a simple, NO prep (other than copies) activity that my kids love year after year. I originally got the idea when I was student teaching, and I have tweaked it a bit since then. It is so fun to see the students interpret the fractions differently and end up with different looking humans.
All you have to do is print out the instruction sheets (or project it on the board) and print each child a shapes piece. Then, the students read the directions and cut out fractional parts of each shape for different parts of the body. So cute and simple, and the kids love it every year!
Have fun with fractions! We have A LOT more fractions coming up, and I am working hard on two different posts--one about Fluency and one highlighting my favorite books for teaching inferencing... coming soon!